Marie Barou-Dagues

Behavioural and Cognitive Ecology

Under a changing environment, understanding why individuals within populations differ in their ability to track changes, learn from it and adjust their behaviour remains a crucial question. The main focus of my research is to investigate the proximal and ultimate causes of individual differences in cognitive abilities and behavioural plasticity integrating experimental, observational and theoretical (i.e. agent-based model) approaches.

For now, I explored these topics in birds, under both social foraging (MSc supervised by Prof. Luc-Alain Giraldeau at the Université du Québec à Montréal, 2014-2016) and mate choice contexts (PhD, supervised by Prof. Frédérique Dubois at the University of Montréal, 2017-2021). For instance, we showed that behavioural plasticity in a social foraging context was associated with cognitive abilities and that these traits were important to select a mate. Currently, I am starting my first postdoctoral contract with Frédéric Angelier investigating several proximal mechanisms that could explain interindividual behavioural and cognitive differences. Particularly, we are exploring the role of different stressors (e.g. social, contaminant, temperature) received at different developmental stages on physiology, personality, cognitive performances, sexual behaviours and reproductive success in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

Post-doctoral researcher – ECOPHY team
Supervisor : Frédéric Angelier
Funding agency : Fondation Fyssen
twitter : @MBarouDagues